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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

1) I’m extra grateful that I’ve started reading The Artist’s Way, Creativity as a Spiritual Practice, by Julia Cameron. This is my 2nd time following her 12 week journey to a deeper level of creativity.

2) I’m extra grateful that my home is a cozy and bright sanctuary with 8 windows and 4 sliding glass doors.

3) I’m extra grateful for my CD player that can play 5 CDs.  At this moment it holds: Chris Botti, Italia – Keith Jarrett, The Melody At Night, With You – Keali’i Reichel, Kawaipunahele -Dan Gibson’s  Solitudes, The Nature of The Grand Canyon with Music, and Alison Krauss, A Hundred Miles Or More.  Just press “shuffle” and I’m off to a kinder place where my soothing and gentle music can quiet my mind and soul from my relentless symptoms of Fibromyalgia and the fatigue and isolation that accompanies it.  **

4) I’m extra grateful for my neighbor Emma.  After school yesterday she came over to vacuum and help me with chores. (Her mom says Emma can help me twice a week!)

5) I’m extra grateful for today’s unexpected and much-needed rain.

6) As always, I’m extra grateful for the thoughtfulness of my creative life long friend D.D.  Plus she gave me flowers that she said were grown in “Whoville”.  I believe she is right!

7) I’m extra grateful I wrote my grateful list, because I believe I’m beginning to feel extra blessed now too.

** (A side note recommendation:  A Hundred Miles Or More contains the mystical heart-felt song My Ain True Love, which was written and performed by Sting and Alison Krauss for the 2003 film Cold Mountain.  The DVD has a 2nd disc, Words and Music of Cold Mountain, a Royce Hall Special.  Half way through the captivating performance and readings from actors and other brilliant musicians, My Ain True Love is performed by Alison Krauss and Sting.  I must say that the 2 disc DVD has carried me through a few “staying at home all day sick days” and the side effects are better than any freakin’ meds I’ve had to take [and then stop taking].  If a DVD can grab my mind while the rest of me is uncomfortable, then it must be extra good and for that I am extra grateful!)

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I know what I love to do.  It’s what I’ve always loved to do.  Write.  I’ve been writing in my journals for just about my entire life.  There was a time that I didn’t even know it.  In my journals I would also include story ideas, poems and different bits and pieces of short stories.

I was quite young on the Christmas morning that my mother gave me my first diary –  a small plain yellow book with a latch on it that came with a tiny gold key.  In gold letters the front cover said, “DIARY”.   It was magical.  I was in awe and became quiet and focused as I realized the significance of this special gift.  I started writing on that Christmas Day and I never stopped.   When I filled one diary to the last page, I’d write in more diaries.  Then I wanted something a little bigger – and so it began – spiral notebook after spiral notebook.

Hidden inside an old large square box that I had quietly placed at the back of my closet, was the neat pile of my priceless journals, full of short stories, poems and my deepest thoughts and dreams and observations about loved ones.  It was my safe private world of my truth, a place that filled my loneliness when my childhood home was empty once more.  A safe place for my authentic self, my ideas.  Bad spelling and all.  I was deeply ashamed of my complete inability to be able to spell.  I was so creative in my different attempts at spelling, that more often than not, I would have to finally give up on trying to find a word in the dictionary – it could not be found.  In the class room in 6th grade, my biggest fear was that idiotic game called, “Spelling Bee”.  Just the thought of it still gives me stage fright.  I was so spooked and mortified just waiting for my turn that I never ever once, EVER, spelled a word correctly.  I hated that game.  (I still do).   My God, how many years did I have to wait and wait for spell check to be invented?

Around the time I started to discover alcohol, I wrote less and less.   Drinking and bars became a big distraction in my young life.   And as the story often goes for us drinkers, I met my husband-to-be in a bar.  About 8 or 9 months later we got married.  It was just a couple of weeks before my 26th birthday.  I barely knew my then husband except for the fact he drank the way I did, which was a plus, and he grew up in my same home town.  He was 7 years older so we had never met before that night in a bar.

I could not dare let him know about my beloved writing of my truths, deep thoughts and adventures – I only had one choice.  A few weeks before we were to be married in my father’s back yard – I gathered up my pile of precious journals and separated them into two neat piles and carefully wrapped them up with tape and string.  When night-time fell upon me, I put them in a bag, hopped in my car and started to drive around town.  I kept glancing at my precious bag of cargo that was riding next to me as if it was a baby.  I drove down a couple more streets.

Finally, I found it.  An old and dented black dumpster that was sitting on a slight angle behind a well-lit store.  Why was my heart racing?  My body grew uncomfortable.  I parked my car as I felt anxious yet determined to finish my mission.  Completely disregarding my enormous discomfort, I looked over my right shoulder down the ally.  The coast was clear.  I literally picked up all my thoughts, stories, creativity and feelings not only from my adolescence, but also words about my brother, words about my parents divorce – my documented history of my teenage years to my early 20’s.   Quickly, unceremoniously, I tossed my past life into the air as it formed an arch and fell into the black dented dumpster as if it was a huge black volcano.  I was recklessly standing above its dangerous heat and flames – I was too close to the edge and I became acutely aware that I might fall into the black volcano along with my tied and taped journals.   They fell deep inside with loud echoing thump that startled me.  I closed the top to the huge dumpster, quickly got back in my car and without blinking, I drove back home.

A huge part of me fell into the erupting volcano that night along with my love of writing and full documentation of my whole life that included endless entries about my big brother who is no longer with us.  That mistake – it was the best that I could do at that point in my life but I wanted to protect myself, from what, I did not know.  I was never able to look at the significance of what I did  until I found the courage to leave my marriage 3 long years later.  That action of throwing away my years of writing, something that I had loved to do, something that kept me sane, very well could be the biggest regret in my life.  But I was an alcoholic who was about to marry and alcoholic and I did not want my passion to be known – especially with the shame and embarrassment that I had knowing I was so horrible at spelling.

It was not until I was separated and on my own with my baby boy when I suddenly had an overwhelming desire to write again.  I bought a brand new thick spiral notebook.  I picked up a pen and my journey to returning to be my authentic self started again.  But this time, it was insignificant to me that I was bad at spelling.

Once more I have a pile of years worth of writing in journals.  I am a writer.  I am compelled to do so.  It is my time travel.  It is my passion.  It is gratifying.   As I read through my newest pile of old journals that start in 1986,  I am able to write my book for single sober parents with a documentation of my personal and accurate time line.  I am able to read about my health challenges through the years.  Sometimes, as I read my old journals, it is as if I am pulling the nails out of my own coffin as I take a look inside.  I lose track of all time, the hours and days fly by as I read and highlight my journals and write my book.  Sometimes, I become exhausted and must take a long break.  Sometimes, I laugh at myself.  And sometimes I cry and heal myself.  And when my chronic intestinal pain becomes quite uncomfortable, I move my lap top to my bed, surround myself with soft pillows, and I continue to write.  Because I am a writer.  I am compelled to do so.

And it is my fault  if I chose to not share my true self, my authentic self, with someone dear to me in my life.  Not because it keeps them from knowing who I am, but worse, it keeps me from being just who I am supposed to be.

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Could I be overly hopeful?  Is it possible to hope my way into the arms of denial?  I intensely believe deep in my heart that some day soon I will be free of living with chronic pain and discomfort.  However, I’ve seen my pattern – when I receive an invitation from different friends – I hear my reply:

“Yes!  I’d love to go to your beach party!”

“Yes!  I’d love to visit with you.”

“Yes!  I’d love to go to Santa Barbara to see your son graduate college.”

But when the day arrives, I still do not feel well and I find myself once more feeling betrayed by my own body.  Does my hope make me look like a flake?  Am I too embarrassed to say I have barely left the house the entire summer?  Yet, I make every attempt to heal my intestine.  Never stopping the footwork.  I push myself through the darkness.  I am weak from being in pain for such a long endless time.

I went back to my G.I. specialist – again.  I saw his concern as soon as he looked at me.  I’ve lost 15 pounds.  I know I have become too thin.  I hoped he wouldn’t notice.   He was well thought out in his conversation.  He is aware I have also been going to a naturopath.  I will not go into details – because only time will tell – but he made a suggestion of a new medicine.  I have a large file of years of documentation of my medical history and no other doctors, even at USC Medical Center, have ever suggested this medicine.  I agreed.  It took 2 days for the medicine to come in to the pharmacy.   Again, only time will tell.  I am trying not to think about it.

In the mean time, it has been a long summer and I have become overly protective of myself.  Who do I dare let into the safety zone behind my delicate white picket fence that is my only protection?  I must choose to surround myself with kind, loving and supportive people.  My body is weak, but my will and my spiritual contact is strong.  I am isolated, but I am not alone.  I am aware that I can not afford the luxury of being negative, or thoughts full of self-pity.  It does not help me.

I am an alcoholic woman in recovery.  I am not perfect – but because I have been sober for a long time, I am acutely aware that I have everything I need to get to the other side of this time.  The other side of this year.  I believe I will have a deeper level of compassion and understanding towards others.  Developing my character is not such a bad thing.

I remember the me of long ago. . . I used to be a long neck beer, tequilla shooting kinda gal one night – then a lady who drank fine wine over dinner with a gorgeous gentleman the next night.  Perhaps it depended on if I was wearing my old cowboy boots, or my new open toed high heel pumps.   But, the “drink” would be in the center of my night, not realizing that I did everything I could to form myself around that drink.  Time and time again I grew blindly confused when I turned a fun night into a remorseful morning as I helplessly let alcohol be in charge of me.

Way back then, going to the laundry mat meant putting quarters, detergent and a cold beer in my laundry basket.  Or going to a Jack-in-the-Box drive through to buy a coke meant pulling over to the side of the road, dumping out half of the coke in the street and filling it back up with my bottle of rum that fit in my purse.  I thought I was so clever, witty and fun.  And I did this when my son was with his father or the baby sitter, so I felt I was being a responsible mom.  Alcohol was the nucleus of my life, and I was too ill and dizzy to see I was caught in its orbit – floating through my day with no say or control – ignoring my intended path “just for now”.

Finally – by God’s grace –  I had had enough.  That young confused woman from 24 years ago no longer defines who I am.  Yes, it is who I was, but I have grown and stayed on my intended path.  When I had my last drink (a beer) early that faithful morning, I had lost track of who I was and what I believed in.  How did I become a woman, a mother, who didn’t even know why she did the things she did?  I had a black out during the evening at some point.  Later that morning, as soon as I stopped feeling nauseous and ashamed of myself, I picked up my precious and pure baby son from his father’s home. It was my birthday and my son’s father took a picture of my son and me.  I forced a fake and painful smile.

Yes, I remember who I was quite clearly, but that no longer defines who I am today.  I got out – I asked for help.  I followed direction.  The only time I was joyful was when I was being a mom to my son.  I loved him more than I loved myself.   Then other times when I was at work, I felt so anxious I could not believe it!  Not drinking was so difficult for me!

“Well, this most certinally is a screwed up deal.  What if I made a mistake?  What if I am not an alcoholic?  I am restless and discontent so much of my day.”  But I wanted to be sober more than I wanted to have a drink.

Slowly, one moment at a time, I don’t know if life got better, but I do know that “I” got better.  My experience has taught me that it takes a long time to get screwed up and making unhealthy choices is a hard habit to break.  It takes a long time to get well after one stops drinking.  But I had a better chance of getting well because I asked for help and I did not do it alone.  I started to let go of people who were just like the old me – and instead I started to find people who I wanted to be like – people who I admired.

As months turned into years and I became healthier in mind, body and spirit – and enjoying a full and healthy life full of laughter with my son – bike rides, homework, playing basket ball, taking surfing lessons together – at the peak of finding my freedom and loving who I really was – I woke up with an odd stomach ache one morning in 1997.  I was 10 years sober and in love with a man I never would have noticed if I was still drinking, my son was 12, my bills were finally paid off, I had been taking college classes for the first time in my life – and that morning is when my life started to change its course, again. . . . . .

[click on the page tab above: “share your journey of chronic pain”]

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1)  I am grateful that the morning was much cooler when I stepped out on my balcony today.

2) I am grateful that my dad made me take a stupid typing class when I was in high school.

3) I am grateful that my cat sits close to me and loudly purrs when she knows I do not feel well.

4) I am grateful that I have more than one pair of jammies to wear all day and all night.

5) I am grateful that I know the importance of hanging on to hope – no matter what.

6) I am grateful that I know I have everything I need to be as comfortable as I can be today.

7) I am grateful that I know tears do eventually stop flowing.

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When it comes to the weather, I can reach a pretty decent level of acceptance.  It really doesn’t make too much of a difference to me if the sun is out or not, I’ve learned to simply adjust accordingly.  If it is raining, I grab my umbrella. If it is sunny and hot, I grab my sunglasses and a bottle of water.  Snowing and cold?  I love my long and cozy down coat with the hood. However, there is a different area in my life that I need to continue to practice acceptance – it’s humans! and they are everywhere!  I have been slacking.  Once more  I need to be better at acceptance and remembering to simply adjust accordingly.  It doesn’t matter if the human is driving a car, or working at the health food store, or someone I’ve known a few years – something has happened to my acceptance of “other peoples behavior”.  The thing is, it is not necessary (or okay) for me to have negative resentful thoughts, or be sarcastic or let them know my blunt opinion.  

As for my experience when it comes to growing and learning – the discomfort comes before the change.  My goodness have I had an abundance of discomfort – but I am feeling it is taking way too long for my next level of growing and learning to appear.  With enormous discomfort I clearly see I must continue with my redefinition of my physical capabilities.  A greater acceptance of my painful health challenges and where I am spiritually and mentally in the midst of it all. 

It is not an excuse, but, I’ve been living with great physical discomfort for quite sometime now.  I am admitting that living with chronic intestinal pain is finally taking its toll on me.  It has become all-encompassing.  I am house bound a lot.  The more time I spend at home ill, trying to get well and dealing with the pain, the more difficult it is for me to have any kind of patience with people when I must go out in the world again.  I am caught off guard by my attitude and envy towards others who seem to have tons of energy.  I have missed out on many days as my lifestyle has become comprimised.  I am under a doctor’s care and soon I will be seeing a naturopath.  I am seeking better health constantly.

I am learning first hand that I  can still live a good life with my physical pain, but, I can not live a good life without being on a level of loving acceptance  and being 100% spiritually fit and I must not let my faith waiver for even a moment.  I see more than ever the importance of this now – I am embarassed to admit I’ve counted that I have made 7 apologies in 7 days.  (Have I become a big grump?! But I don’t feel well!  Whaa!)  I am not loving this impatient behavior of mine.  Yes, I do not feel well, but, it is time to reach a deeper lever of acceptance as to just what my limitations are while I am doing everything in my power to feel vibrantly healthy once more.

This is the longest I’ve ever gone with out writing on my blog or my book.  I must not allow my funk to distract me because I’ve missed writing terribly – I am a writer – it is as if I do not have a choice but to write.  However, this pain is really bringing out the person I do not want to be – someone who I am not.  I do know writing is important to me.  And it has been an odd time for me living with endless physical discomfort.  It is a time of reevaluation.  It is a time of deeper understanding and acceptance.  It is time to step up to the plate – again.

I am so grateful that I am still sober – but this stretch of a time for growth is a mother!

Please let me know how you are feeling spiritually as well as physically today. . .

(photo of Omaha clouds taken by H.F. posted with permission)

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Good thing that I got sober in 1987.   Were the 80’s really that long ago?   Check out this picture I just took of my mother’s old Hewlett-Packard FAX/Copier.  You gotta love hp.  It still works by the way.  Slowly, one piece of paper at a time, but it still works.  I asked my mom when she bought it, to my surprise she said, “oh, sometime in the mid-80’s.”   I got sober around the time fax machines looked like this?!  (I’m still scratching my head over that one, cause I would have sworn I’m still a young babe.)  When I got sober no one I knew had a cell phone yet.  However, we did have very cool and most excellent pagers.  “Beep!  Beep!  Beep!”   Pay phones were everywhere and only a fool left the house with out some quarters in their pocket.  It certainly was an important time for the quarter.  25 cents.  Yup, a time when it was acceptable to go up to a good-looking stranger and ask:

“Hey, excuse me, but do you have change for a dollar?  I need to make an important phone call.”   As I recall, it was also a great opening line at the same time. 

Quarters were a necessity of life.  We not only needed them to use a payphone, we needed them to play Pac-Man, we needed them for parking meters too – but one quarter was about an hour on a parking meter – right?!  Sheesh! 

When I was newly sober, going through a divorce, working full-time and learning how to be an awesome mother to my baby boy – if I was out in the world and I needed to talk to another alcoholic in recovery (which was all the time by the way)  I’d have to find a pay phone, find a place to park and then hopefully find a quarter in my car (usually the ashtray) all the while trying not to lose my mind.  I have lost track of the amount of times I could no longer keep my cool and burst into tears of anxiety and fear, feeling like a sober fool as I FINALLY started to dial a friends freakin’ PAGER!  I’d put in the phone number of the payphone, page my sober friend, hang up the pay phone and then stand there and hang on till THEY found a pay phone, found a place to park – well – you get the picture.  Ah yes – the good old days of being newly sober in the 80’s.  And you know what?  It worked.  It worked because we all worked hard at it together.  It was a time when courts would put drunk drivers in jail without a question – not ask them if they would prefer to go to jail or check into a lovely rehab with an ocean view.   Unless of course, you prefer the beautiful desert.   I never got the “luxury” of an expensive 30 day rehab.  

I never got caught for any of my under the influence alter-ego bad girl deeds.  (Thank you God.  Thank you God.)  So I never went to jail for drunk driving.  I totally surrendered to not wanting any more hangovers.  I did the work and stayed willing to learn because I knew in my badly bruised heart, ego and soul, that I wanted more out of my life for me and my precious son.  I took the rough road and did the hard work to begin a better life for me and my son.  No way in heck I would miss out on spending time with my beloved baby boy –  I wanted to be a mother to the most amazing and magical little person I ever met in my life.  It is an honor to be his mother.  

I have been thinking about all of this since I started shopping for a new lap top a couple of months back.  All of the Thoroughly Modern Technology was overwhelming to me.   Turns out, my FAX/Scanner that worked with my old lap top was not compatible with my new lap top.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  So – how is it my 7 year old FAX is not compatible but my mother’s FAX from the 80’s still works?  Logic does not apply.  Making money does.  I let it get to me sometimes and how my 80 year old mother accepts it I’ll never know.  She is good in that department of  “accepting”.   Here we are in 2011 now and good old hp is still making FAX/copy/scan machines, oh yes, let’s not forget they are wireless now too, but they no longer last over 20 years.  They become “not compatible”.

 She is a shiny and sleek looking new FAX though I think – kinda like the hp FAX that was born in the 80’s had a bunch of  Botox injected along with an extra dark spray tan.  I likey!  It is so fast!  I can scan old school pictures and E mail them to friends in an instant.  All the new technology makes things so fast!!  I can be out shopping and take of picture of a pair of shoes with my cell phone and send it to my friend with the good taste and ask her opinion.  I instantly get an answer.  So cool. . . Too bad recovery from alcohol isn’t as fast and sleek and cool looking.   I wish it was.  It’s just not.  In my 23 years of experience with out a break – there is just no way around it.  Recovery takes time and patience.  Just like my mom’s old hp FAX/Copier machine.   I still do today just what I started to do in 1987.  There is no such thing as a recovery upgrade:

“Um, yes, would you please upgrade my drunk soul to first class? And  nonstop of course!”    

I have not changed a thing in my recovery since my first day sober in the 80’s.  Slow, slow, slow recovery.  Uncover, discover, discard.  Pray.  Meditate.  Be of service to others.  And say “thank you God!”.  I notice the times of great discomfort do not last as long now.  If I make a mistake, I can see it faster now, and apologize. 

It took me a long time to  become ill, and  like a steel pipe that has become rusted and bent through the years, after much work, the rust is being scraped and pulled off of me like cleansing leaches from the 18th century.  I will always remember the tears, overcoming shame, and the hard work it took for me to get clean and sober at the beginning of my journey in sobriety.  I missed my drinkeys!!  I missed the romantic clink-clink of fine wine glasses.  I was so newly sober and claustrophobic that I felt  like a mummy who was being wrapped too tightly before it had even completely died.  It took a long time for my soul to become near death as I surrounded myself with one to many unkind people who were addicted just like me.  No – no – no – – recovery could never happen quickly as we heal our dark bizarre wounds and seek to find our true selves.  Forget about being “born-again” today.  Forget “starting over” in an instant.  Forget the lie that “just stop drinking” will suddenly make us well.  I must use my own arms hour after hour and day after day to scrub off and pull off the rusty leaches that have frozen me and transformed me into a mummy who believes its own lies.  Alcoholism is impossible to pull off quickly like a band-aid.  Impossible to yank like a loose tooth with a string tied around it.  The old rusty bent pipe that I once was has been painful and difficult and exhausting to scrub clean and straighten out.  Like Houdini dislocating his own shoulder to escape from his self-imposed straight jacket – because I’ve done the work while I did not drink – I can be free today from the dark and morbid thoughts of addiction.  Recovery is not impossible.  It is work.  Work for a life that is worth saving.  Bit by bit I find joy, love and peace, like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. 

I have fewer “friends” today and the people in my life today, I want them to stay in my life, even when communication might get challenging, I want them near by.  In my recovery through the years, I have seen that a hard time does not last quite as long.   I come to realize that the work and not drinking for years has brought me to be living  2 secret dreams that I had as a teenager.  Dreams so far away from my childhood that they had been  forgotten.  One was to be a writer – and I never told anyone.  The other one was to some how be able to live with my mother again – and I never told anyone.  Today I am writing my book AND living with my mother.  Spiritual healing and living a dream is worth the work, don’t you think?   It’s working towards recovery that brings us all together with love and a life that works for each of us as complete individuals.  Everyone deserves the choice of a comfortable life that’s full of love – no matter what their addiction is or was.  (Amen to that!)

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Let’s pretend, just for today, that if you were to check the dinky print on the heading of my blog, underneath where I wrote “attitude is a choice”  you will see: *unless of course it involves a squirrel.  And this squirrel is making me crazy!  He wakes me up every day!  I’m so irritated!  This gosh-dern squirrel has been relentless. . .  It all started innocently enough about 4 or 5 months ago when I first heard the distinct sound of the pitter-patter of little feet running back and forth above my head in the crawl space attic.  Then scratching, and digging sounds and oh my goodness there is a freakin’ critter up there!  The mornings at dawn were the worst!  Scratch – scratch – scratch!  Dig – dig – dig!  Run – run – run!  It woke me from a sound sleep constantly. Lord have mercy.  I called the HOA (home owners association) shared my story of woe and they sent out a Pest Control Company.  Now, I do not know what this Pest Control Company normally does, but, to my dismay, after a few weeks, six visits and setting traps and checking traps and trying different food in traps, the Pest Control Company simply could not control my personal pest!  Grrr!  In the mean time, as I was on my lap top, my internet went out.  OK, you might as well cut off my oxygen supply. Wait!  Are you serious?!  I can’t write a new post on my blog today!?  Fine, I’ll watch a good movie on TV.  Wait!  No TV?!   Are you serious?!  Cable Guys searched everywhere to find the problem.  Two visits later, the Cable Guy went up into the crawl space.  (Uh-oh!  Yikes – I didn’t even think of that one.  Sorry Cable Guys.)  Turns out my determined squirrel ate through the internet cable.  I went about a week with out internet – no access to my blog – no access to job search and filling out more applications.  And dare I say, no Facebook?  Oh wait – I do have a blackberry!  Sheesh!  That one was close!  So – more and more days go by and I am still being woken up by Rocky the Squirrel as I feel my heavy discontent form over my body as if it was trying to make a mold for my personal wax figure.  I see Rocky again, but on the patio, I dash outside, grab the garden hose and squirt him!  Yes!  In the mean time, the Pest Control Company that can not control this pest, showed up for their 7th visit.  That is when they finally found the hole in the roof wall where Rocky the Squirrel was getting in and out.  (By the way, this visit number 7 was about four weeks ago.)  A temporary wire cover was hammered over the hole.  I was completely unaware that this really irritated Rocky!  How was I supposed to know he was watching the whole time?   Now, at the same times and at the same spot, I could still hear him.  He was plucking and plucking and tugging and scratching at the make-shift temporary wire that was blocking his entrance to his favorite place.  He was obsessed!  In the middle of the night or at dawn – plucking and tugging and scratching – I would be forced out of my bedroom one more time and I’d climb into the small bed on the loft when Rocky woke me up. I could never get back to sleep.  I had become obsessed, irritated, restless and discontent – out of control with my thoughts and frustrated from being woken up one more time – I start to plan the demise of the crazy Rocky the Squirrel.  I had a great idea!  The next day I gathered a few small rocks and put them in a pile on my balcony – each time I heard my personal intruder I’d jump and run – run – run! to my little pile of rocks and throw them one at a time with all my might yelling at Rocky as he sat there looking at me as I missed him with each missile launch of my rock ammunition.  Rocky is not afraid of rocks!?  What the heck!  That squirrel is crazy!  He even sat still when I took his picture on my roof!  But I am determined to win!  The next day I gathered more rocks, quickly, I hid a pile in the corner of my balcony just like a squir – – –  Now wait just a cotton pickin’ second!  Have I gone mad with my obsession?  Have I become so stubborn that I refuse to let a squirrel run me out of my bedroom even though I am not getting enough sleep?!  You bet I have.  I have become the relentless, stubborn, crazy, obsessed squirrel.  Only I gather rocks instead of acorns.  I have been fighting and fighting – so determined to have it my way and obsessively planning and scheming and thinking and believing I can change this frustrating squirrel.  I know I can win!!  It will be a fight to the finish!  Geeze – how is this battle different from any other one I’ve ever had long ago?  Can I change any one or any thing?  No.  Can I change myself and my attitude?  Yes.  Surrender to win, Julie.  You would never swim against a rip tide would you?  You swim across it to get out to the calmer safe water.  All I need to do is be gentle with myself – surrender, accept, and sleep on the beautiful loft.  Let Rocky be who he was designed to be.  And you Ms. Julie, you go back to being who God intended you to be – happy joyous and free. 

Sweet dreams Rocky.  I’ll see you tomorrow.

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